Senator urges middle ground on gun control

Jan 8, 2013

Gun control legislation is on the lips of many politicians in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.  But New York's senior senator says that while he supports some gun control, he doesn't want any legislation to go too far.

Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer says he's concerned about what he calls some talk on the left to put too many limitations on the second amendment of the Constitution, and that's not the point here.

"The constitution has a second amendment and it's just as important as the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.  And some on the left like to say the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments should be expanded and the Second Amendment only applies to militias, in other words, the National Guard and Reserve.  That's not fair," said Schumer. "There's a right to bear arms It's enshrined in the Heller decision in the Supreme Court.  and every law abiding citizen should have the right to bear arms."

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) in Syracuse
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Schumer says there is room in the middle in the gun control debate.  He supports proposals that would among other things, strengthen background checks for people who want to buy guns.

"The most reasonable limitation on the second amendment should be that those who are criminals and those who are mentally ill should not be allowed to get guns.  And my focus is -- we do have a system of checks so if you're a criminal you can't go into a gun store and buy a gun if you've been adjudicated mentally ill. But that system has a lot of holes in it.  Let's tighten up those holes, said the senator.

Schumer also supports tougher measures to stop gun trafficking. The other senator from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, has proposed legislation to make gun trafficking a federal crime.